The Netherlands is known for its festivals, ranging from multi-day musical fiestas to open days at historical monuments. Many events have been canceled due to the pandemic, however we are listing the best family events in the Netherlands that are still on for the second half of 2020.
Although Amsterdam is one of the country’s cultural hotspots, festivals are spread all across the Netherlands. Most of the festivals are within easy reach from Amsterdam, since the country is small and public transportation and highways make for smooth traveling.
The 8 Best Family Events in the Netherlands for the Second Half of 2020
1. Heritage Day Amsterdam (12 – 15 September)
Have you ever wondered what the story behind the old looking buildings you’re walking past is? Heritage Day is a fantastic event that enables you to look behind the century-old walls of monuments all over the Netherlands. For this edition, many historic canal houses, the Royal Palace on the Dam Square, and other significant dwellings are open to the public. Within each of the open monuments, a display of artwork or information panels tells you more about the specific building, its history, and its role in historic Amsterdam. If you want to combine a number of different monuments, it’s worth looking at 9 cycling and walking routes created by the organization.
Planning a trip to Amsterdam? Check our Amsterdam – Family Travel Guide.
Where to stay during Heritage Day in Amsterdam?
This establishment is conveniently located near the Vondelpark, Rijksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum. The hotel has an on-site Italian restaurant and offers rental bicycles, making it easy to move around the city. Their studios are suitable for a family of 4 and are equipped with a flatscreen-tv, coffee machine, and a comfy living area.
Need more hotel options to stay in Amsterdam. Check out our Best Family Hotels – Amsterdam.
2. TCS Amsterdam Marathon – Kids Run (18 October)
The Amsterdam Marathon is one of the largest events the Dutch capital hosts annually. The center of the city will be closed for traffic for one day for this grand running event. The starting and finishing point is the Olympic Stadium, a historic football stadium in the south of the city. You can sign up for the full marathon, half marathon, or the 8-kilometer run. For kids, there is a 700-meter Kids Run right beside the stadium, and even a 1-kilometer Mini Marathon parallel to the official route of the full marathon. Whatever your physical condition is, there will be a compelling run for you. If you’re not planning to compete in the TCS Amsterdam Marathon is still an amazing event to observe from the sideline.
Where to stay during the TCS Amsterdam Marathon?
A restaurant, spa treatment, and massage services: this hotel has splendid facilities, while the rooms come at surprisingly affordable rates. The suites are spacious and have a kitchenette, while some come with a bathtub.
3. Amsterdam Light Festival (28 November – 19 January)
When the days are getting colder and the nights longer, Amsterdam lights up the spirit through the Light Festival. For almost two months, the city is illuminated by thousands of lights. These lights form artworks created by artists from all over the world. The 2020 Light Festival is the 9th edition, and the theme is ‘Nature’. Therefore, the magical displays will show the beauty and forces of nature – volcanic eruptions, meteorites, the rich flora and fauna on this planet, and environmental issues we face. No less than 750 artists have been invited to literally shine a light on this topic.
Where to stay during the Amsterdam Light Festival?
This property is located in the very center of Amsterdam and offers family rooms on a budget. All rooms have an on-suite bathroom and board games to keep you entertained at night. Amsterdam Hotel Parklane lies within walking distance from Artis Zoo and the botanical gardens of Amsterdam.
4. Amsterdam Winter Paradise (19 December – 3 January)
Like every year, Amsterdam Winter Paradise will be held in the large event halls of RAI. This venue is turned into a massive winter celebration, with an ice rink to practice your ice skating skills, apres-ski parties with live music, and even a go-kart track on top of the ice. Furthermore, Amsterdam Winter Paradise hosts an ice tubing slope, a huge Ferris wheel, and a carousel for the youngest visitors. Many cafes and restaurants will open and serve soothing winter fare under the Christmas trees.
Where to stay during Amsterdam Winter Paradise?
This hotel is equipped with a restaurant, a coffee bar, and a fitness center. Holiday Inn Amsterdam has family rooms that fit four people and have free coffee and tea facilities. But most importantly, from Holiday Inn Amsterdam, you can reach the RAI in 15 minutes on foot.
Being a B&B, this place treats guests with a wonderful breakfast and free use of tea and coffee. Amsteldam Bed and Breakfast offers free bicycle rental for guests, outdoor barbecue facilities, and a terrace. The RAI is only 1.3 kilometers or a 20-minute walk away.
5. Kite Festival Scheveningen (26 – 27 September)
Scheveningen, a coastal town 60 kilometers south of Amsterdam, has been hosting the annual Kite Festival since 1978 on the beach. Over 100 participants make their most extravagant kites fly and cover the sky. During the night, hundreds of lights ascend to heaven and make for spectacular shows. There will be kite demonstrations, like kites that move on the rhythm of music or power kite demonstrations. It’s also possible to bring your own kite and mingle at the celebrations.
Where to stay during Kite Festival Scheveningen?
The beach is almost on the doorstep of Ibis Den Haag Scheveningen and is an excellent choice for that reason. The family rooms have a balcony, some of which are looking out over the beach. There’s a daily breakfast buffet until 12.00 pm, enabling you to wake up relaxed and slow.
6. Eurospoor Utrecht (30 October – 1 November)
Imagine a miniature world full of handmade landscapes and cities, where trains cross over kilometers of tracks. That is Eurospoor, one of the most significant rail transport modeling events in Europe. You can indulge in a world of small trains, cities, and nature reserves in an area that measures 20,000 square meters. At least 50 sizeable working railway displays from clubs all over the continent are displayed at this event.
If you have miniature trains and tracks yourself, you can collect or exchange locomotives, wagons, and other parts on Eurospoor as well.
Where to stay during Eurospoor Utrecht?
NH Utrecht has triple rooms with many comforts, such as a minibar, coffee and tea, and radio and tv. The hotel’s location is nearly perfect, with the Beatrix Theater and central train station at a very short distance. And, by walking just 5 minutes from NH Utrecht to the Eurospoor fair, you’ll have enough energy to stroll around at the event for the entire day.
7. Japan Light and Food Festival Rotterdam (19 – 20 September)
The Japan Light and Food Festival in Rotterdam offers more than just your hearty bowl of ramen or sushi plate. As soon as you walk through the door of the Maassilo halls, you’ll be submerged in a celebration of the Japanese culture and nature. During this event, an arcade game hall, food hall, LED light shows, and – indeed – sushi and ramen creations represent a tiny piece of Japan far away from Japan. The organization even manages to imitate the famous Japanese cherry blossom by decorating trees with thousands of small lights. Young and old fans of Japanese culture will feel right at home here.
Where to stay during the Japan Light and Food Festival Rotterdam?
This modern and abstract hotel in Rotterdam’s center is a good starting point to explore the city and the festival. Savoy Hotel Rotterdam is located near the iconic Cubic Houses, the Markthal food hall, and metro station Blaak, from where you can hop on for the journey to the festival. The hotel has family rooms with a living area, a coffee machine, and excellent city views.
8. Christmas Market Maastricht (29 November – 31 December)
The Christmas Market in Maastricht is an epic winter celebration that returns every year the Vrijthof square in the city’s heart. For many, this annual Christmas market is the most exciting winter fair in all of the Netherlands. The Maastricht version is inspired by German Christmas markets, which means that you can munch on sausages and mulled wine at numerous stalls. A skating rink, a Ferris wheel, and illuminated Christmas trees create a cozy atmosphere on Maastricht’s main square. Although the fair is open during the daytime, the nights are a bit more enchanting thanks to the sea of lights.
Where to stay during Christmas Market Maastricht?
Since Vrijthof only is a 20-minute stroll away, this boutique hotel is an outstanding choice. Family rooms for up to 4 people have a radio and tv for entertainment, and on-suite bathrooms. A buffet-style breakfast is displayed in the stylish lobby each day.
With its own restaurant and a 24-hour reception, Mabi Hotel Centrum will cater to every need. Mabi Hotel Centrum is located in the historic quarter of Maastricht, and the Christmas market is only 600 meters away, which makes this hotel an excellent base for exploring.
Ready to plan your trip to the Netherlands? You need our complete listing of the Best Family Events in the Netherlands.